The Seahawks announced they would be signing Vital to the practice squad after offseason workouts with several unnamed NFL teams.
“Mark Vital, who helped lead the Baylor men’s basketball team to a national championship earlier this year, has signed to the Seahawks practice squad as he tries to launch a professional career in a new sport,” the team said on its website.
Vital announced he would not be returning to Baylor for his senior year by posting a video to Twitter.
“We all have different paths, different journeys. My path has run through the game of basketball,” he said in the video. “I shed tears for this. I fell. I overcame and experienced so much joy. I’ve given this game everything I got and it’s given a lot to me.”
He continued: “I will always be in love with the game of basketball but my path is taking me somewhere else.”
He posted several videos of his NFL workouts and dispelled any rumors that he would be returning to Baylor to play football.
“I will not attend college football. I am pursuing the NFL.”
At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Vital certainly has the size to play tight end in the NFL. His ability to move on the court, if it translates to the field, will make him a good target for Russell Wilson.
Vital started in 105 games and played 126 total for Baylor where he was a third-team All-Big 12 selection in 2020 and a three-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection. He was also a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award in his junior year where he helped Baylor capture the national title.